Aug 25, 2016 Home

The Easiest Way to Make Your Home Look Polished—Stat

by Liz Lynch

Amy Bartlam

Raise your hand if your Pinterest boards are filled with sleek and beautifully polished spaces, but you have no idea how to replicate the look. Our favorite interior designers have a knack for mixing and matching patterns, periods, and styles in a way that looks effortless, un-decorated, and never try-hard. But try to do the same, and you may find yourself thinking Will these patterns really go together? Is the scale right? What's missing here?

In an effort to make this process a little more streamlined, we identified eight really easy tricks to make your space look more polished. Better yet, you can easily weave these décor tricks into your home in as little as one weekend—no designer required. Whether it's adding a plant here, or removing a pillow there, these easy updates will give your rooms a certain something that will set them apart, and make them look more expensive than they actually are. Adopt these eight designer-approved styling tricks to add a sophisticated air to your space.

Add small accent pieces to your existing furniture plan to add interest and layers to your space. Tuck a pair of small stools under an entry console or center table, place a garden stool to the side of a dining room buffet, or add a bench to the foot of a bed to give your space a well-rounded and collected look that is thoughtful and chic.

Jayson Home Park Stool ($895)

One of the easiest ways to create a streamlined, polished space is to restrain your overall color palette to a few dominant hues. The resulting design will look cohesive and well thought-out without falling flat and feeling boring. We love the look that mixed patterns and colors give a space—but if chic polish is what you’re going for, it’s much easier to achieve with a set color scheme.

Pasargad Patchwork Rug ($965)

Be thoughtful with your use of pattern, and exercise restraint when adding multiple prints or designs in the same room. If you’ve opted for a bold rug, keep the other textiles more subdued to prevent the room from becoming too busy. If you’re thinking your space has a little too much going on, relocate a pair of patterned pillows to another room and add in solid versions in luxurious fabrics for a more polished and sophisticated look.

Jayson Home Indigo Brique Pillows ($175)

Display mirrors vertically, hang curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, and add an intriguing light fixture to draw the eyes up and give your space a lofty and expansive feeling. A space that appears tall and spacious feels more luxurious, and emphasizing the vertical lines of your home will result in a more sophisticated design.

Iacoli & McAllister White Spica Light ($1600)

Bookshelves and built-ins offer wonderful styling opportunities and ways to display your favorite reads and accessories—but overloaded shelves can quickly look cluttered and messy if you don’t take the time to carefully edit their contents. Mix in decorative and meaningful accessories with restraint, and take a step back every now and then when styling to look at your shelves to make sure you’re not getting carried away. Find other spots, like consoles, coffee tables, and dressers, for accessories and books that don’t make the cut.

West Elm Striped Angle Geometry Bookend ($39)

Corral remotes, books, bar materials, cooking accessories, and vanity essentials in trays of all sizes and styles to keep things looking tidy and stylish. Not only do they help keep your items organized, but their textures and shapes add interest to surfaces and offer opportunities to play with unique materials.

High Street Market Large Woven Rectangular Serving Tray ($110)

Whenever possible, opt for closed storage solutions to hide unsightly but necessary items. While shelves are great for styling, they can quickly become crowded and look messy when used for storage. Relocate bulky or less attractive necessities to closets and cabinets, and save the open shelves for styled displays.

Organic Modernism Siena 4 Cabinet ($1995)


Tessa Neustadt

Plants add color and life to a space, and they make a big visual impact when placed in unexpected locations like bookshelves, desks, and kitchen counters. Opt to store your plants in a decorative pot or planter to add another layer of visual interest to your space.

Terrain Bird's Nest Fern String Garden ($48)